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Romanian Traditional Sweet Cheese Pastries- Poale In Brau(Branzoaice)

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These Romanian traditional sweet cheese pastries- Poale in brau(Branzoaice) are considered to be an emblem of the Romanian region of Moldova and its cuisine. 

The pastries are traditionally made with salty sheep cheese and served as a snack, with a little bit of sour cream right next to them. A glass of dry white wine is also served.

Romanian Traditional Sweet Cheese Pastries Poale In Brau- in a basket

Romanian traditional sweet cheese pastries- Poale in brau (Branzoaice)

These are delicious pastries to bake once in a while. Usually, they are made to be consumed as a snack and the filling is made with salty cheese.

If the pastries are served as dessert, then Farmers cheese is added to the salty cheese together with some sugar and raisins to make the little pies sweeter.

If sweet, the pastries are sprinkled with powder sugar. Sometimes, a little bit of honey is drizzled over them. As for the wine, if you serve them as a dessert, a sweet, light, red or rose wine is perfect for them, and also traditional.

The recipe is so delicious that now it is made not only in Moldova, but in other regions of Romania. I had them both salty and sweet and I have to tell you that I loved both versions.

To make authentic ones, obviously it is difficult, because of the ingredients. The cheese is what makes them special.

However, I encourage you to make them with the cheese you have available, so you can get a glimpse of what they are.

Romanian Traditional Sweet Cheese Pastries- Poale in Brau(Branzoaice) in a basket covered with a tea towel

You might find the recipe intimidating, but it really is not. If you have a stand up mixer to help you knead the dough, things are pretty easy. I used my Kitchen Aid that I love, because it saves a lot of time.

Also, in this recipe, because it is made with a mixer, most ingredients are incorporated at once, so you don’t need to be worried about working with yeast, if you don’t have much experience.

What kind of cheese you can use:

If you live in United States and would like to make this recipe, look for Farmer’s Cheese. It is a fresh cheese that has a small curd and it is not salty.

Probably in Europe, you will find this Farmer’s Cheese under the name of cottage cheese. The closest to this cheese, in the US, is ricotta, which you can try to substitute with. OR, you can make Farmer’s Cheese at home- click here for the recipe.

The recipe has also a little bit of semolina added to the cheese filling. The semolina absorbs the moisture of the cheese in case it is too wet.

If you make it for the first time, stay true to the recipe and use the ingredients indicated on the list. These pastries are sweet, as I used Farmer’s cheese, a little bit of sugar and raisins in the filling.

If you want to make them savory, use a good Feta cheese. You can also mix it with some Farmer’s cheese, for a milder taste. You will not be sorry!

Romanian Traditional Sweet Cheese Pastries- Poale In Brau(Branzoaice) on a white plate

If you make them, feel free to snap a picture and post it under the comments. I am curious to see what you came up with and if you liked it. Enjoy!

Interested in another delicious snack made with yeast dough? Try the recipe of Mucenici, another traditional Romanian one.

Yield: 12 pastries

Romanian Traditional Sweet Cheese Pastries- Poale In Brau(Branzoaice)

Romanian Traditional Sweet Cheese Pastries- Poale in Brau(Branzoaice) are considered to be an emblem of the region of Moldova and its cuisine. The pastries are traditionally made with salty sheep cheese and served as a snack, or with Farmer's Cheese, sugar and raisins for a delicious dessert.

Romanian Traditional Sweet Cheese Pastries- Poale in Brau(Branzoaice) are considered to be an emblem of the region of Moldova and its cuisine. The pastries are traditionally made with salty sheep cheese and served as a snack, or with Farmer's Cheese, sugar and raisins for a delicious dessert.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours



  1. How to make the dough:
  2. In a KitchenAid mixer place flour, egg yolks, butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest and yeast. On low speed, with the dough hook attached, start mixing the ingredients.
  3. Add warm milk little by little to form a dough.
  4. When the dough is formed, increase the speed of the mixer to medium and let the mixer knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
  5. The dough should be elastic, smooth and not sticky. Remove the dough from the mixer and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover the dough with plastic foil or a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume.
  6. How To Make The Filling:
  7. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling.
  8. Beat well the two eggs and add them to the farmer's cheese. Add vanilla, lemon zest, the pinch of salt, raisins and the semolina. If the cheese mixture is too runny, add another tablespoon of semolina until you get a creamy consistency.
  9. Mix well to incorporate the ingredients.
  10. How to Make The Pastries:
  11. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Cover the bottom of a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  12. After the dough has doubled in volume, sprinkle some flour on the working surface and dump the dough on the table. Split the dough in half.
  13. Grab a half of the dough and roll it with the rolling pin. You should end up with a square aprox. 12x12 inches.
  14. Cut the dough into 6 equal squares, using a knife.
  15. Place a full spoon of the cheese filling in the middle of a square. Fold two opposite corners towards the middle and press well to make sure they stick together. Then, fold the other two opposite corners, so you end up having a pastry that looks like an envelope.
  16. Place it on the tray and continue the same with the rest of the dough.
  17. You should have 12 pastries.
  18. Do not overcrowd the pastries. Place only about 6 pastries on the tray, as they will quite rise during baking.
  19. Beat an egg and brush each pastry with it.
  20. Bake them for about 25-30 mins or until golden brown.
  21. Remove them from the tray, let them cool on a rack, then sprinkle powder sugar over them.(the powder sugar is optional)

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 375mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 11g

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Mara Morey

Friday 26th of February 2021

Buna, ma bucur ca am gasit acest blog. Am cautat pe google "branzoici" si m-am ales si cu o reteta pentru homemade cheese!! Sunt din Romania si am venit in America acum un an (pentru prima data, acum 3) si mi-e DOR de tot ce avem in Romania si nu stim sa apreciem pana nu le mai avem, cum e in cazul meu. Nu am apreciat puii si porcii crescuti de bunica, legumele crescute in gradina de tata, branza de la taran, la care nici nu poti visa in America. Acum imi pare rau ca nu le-am stiut aprecia cat timp am fost acasa si imi e dor de ingrediente bio care au gust. Acesta este cel mai mare regret al meu. Am 23 de ani si o viata inainte!

Va pup, keep up the nice work, Mara

The Bossy Kitchen

Monday 1st of March 2021

Buna Mara, Si eu ma bucur ca ai gasit blogul meu si sper din toata inima sa gasesti cateva retete interesante pe care sa le faci. Sunt convinsa ca iti vei gasi magazinele si siturile de unde sa iti comanzi produse asemanatoare celor din Romania. Clar mancarea nu este la fel. Eu m-am apucat aici sa imi fac gemuri, zacusca, sa imi pun muraturi, iar restul le-am cumparat de la magazinele locale sau online. Incearca magazinele etnice din zona unde locuiesti, poate mai gasesti cate ceva. Eu m-am adaptat, ca nu am avut incotro. Iti doresc succes si nu te descuraja, solutii exista ca sa-ti creezi universul tau apropiat de cel de acasa. Multumesc pentru vizita si nu ezita sa imi scrii daca ai intrebari.:-)

Ronald James Toma

Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

My Romanian grandfather used to make us a pastry he called a “scavarette “ it was triangular and fried in lard forming bubbles on top! We would put sugar on them as children! Like a pizza slices size donut! Can you help me with recipe info?

The Bossy Kitchen

Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

Hi, I do not have a recipe on my blog, but I think you refer to "scovergi"(Romanian term for them), a bread dough fried in fat and sprinkled with sugar, as you said. I found a Romanian website that has the recipe, but you will have to use Google translate to figure out the ingredients and how to make them. I hope this helps. Awesome memories!